River Icha is arguably the best on whole peninsula for that purpose....
After several trips to Kamchatka, many anglers begin to realize that the most interesting object to fish is rainbow trout. Firstly, this fish can be large and very strong. It is never clear in advance what size of trout will you come across this time. Secondly, this fish is ideal for hunting and stalking style of fishing, it is not as easy and affordable as some local pacific salmon. Trout takes cover at the bottom, under steep banks, behind or in front of boulders, behind fallen trees or overhanging tree branches. You need to be able to read the water and have a good use of your tackle. Thirdly, this predatory fish attacks flies at the bottom and on the surface of the water. Therefore, you can choose the most interesting fishing methods for yourself.
I can not describe enough how i enjoy fishing rainbows in Kamchatka!
For many anglers, the ability to use surface baits makes trout the most attractive fishing object in Kamchatka. And finally, rainbow trout are one of the most beautiful fish i have ever seen.
The life cycle of a trout is known to everyone. The end of June and the beginning of July, coinciding with the end of the flood on Icha river (Kamchatka), can be considered not very comfortable in terms of water conditions, but the best time for catching a trophy rainbow trout. At this time, river still relatively free of thousands of migrating salmon in the river, so all the best places on the river are occupied by trout. They are active and reacts aggressively to artificial flies. The clarity of the water is still not ideal, so it is best time to fish them in the water column with weighted streamers on a sinking line. With a drop in water level and an increase in its transparency by mid-July, trout actively reacts to surface flies as well. It can be considered that July, August and September are the most comfortable months for fishing rainbow trout in Kamchatka.
Trout is often found in the same places as most of Kamchatka fish. A good place attracts all fish. It is only necessary to take into account that the huge number of salmon appearing in the river in July and August displaces trout from the most obvious holes, channels and reaches. There comes a time when one has to look for large trout in its shelters, sometimes in completely shallow channels, on the bottom dumps or behind single shelters in the form of stones or snags. As a rule, in the second half of summer and autumn, large trout rarely stands on a flat bottom with a fast current and avoids entering streams with a weak current.
The variety of fishing spots and methods gives the angler an almost unlimited approach to tackle selection and fishing tactics. Trout can be caught while fishing for any Kamchatka's fish.
But still, it is better to prepare specially for trout fishing. The usual weight of fish caught is 1-3 kg. Therefore, given the size of the trout and the fishing conditions on the river, a 6/7 weight rod will be best suitable. For streamer techniques and weighted flies, sinking leaders or full sinking lines are suitable. You can also use floating lines with slow sinking leaders. The correct choice largely depends on the conditions and place of fishing and there are no strict rules or restrictions here. You can focus on the quality of casting and presentation of your fly.
The fly for rainbow trout is somewhat different from that for salmon and char. It can be smaller and lighter than salmon options. Fly of 5-6 cm in length normally is enough. Classic streamer style flies are good. A mobile hook in the tail of the fly is a must; this is the most efficient design for a trout fly. The fish often tries, pinches the fly by the very tip of the tail, this can be seen on the camera, but not always felt by the angler. Trout, like char, often follows the fly and attacks it several times. Therefore, the rear hook position provides the most effective model.
The color range of trout flies can be very diverse. Combinations of pink are especially successful - fuchsia of a chenille body with a purple or black tail. The color scheme can be reversed. The black color of the zonker-tail is not very popular among chars, but is in demand among rainbow trout. All variants of imitation of a leech with a bunch of salmon eggs provoke trout. It is clear that it is logical to work with such flies deep in the water, closer to the bottom. Although trout often attacks similar lures in the water column, with strips and other types of retrieval. Although it is more correct to use flies that imitate fry and so on. But trout can be aggressive and attack any flies if they behave provokingly. Therefore, it is best to find the best version of the fly and the best version of its presentation technique on the spot, on the bank of the river.
Separately, I want to discuss about trout fishing in Kamchatka on the surface of the water. This fishing technique is the most famous and fascinating of all, although Kunja is another option of fish as well. Usually, most anglers choose fishing on the surface at the end of the trip, when they have already caught plenty of salmon, char and other fish with standard streamers etc. Fishing on the surface is usually left for the last days, but in vain, because often this method of fishing makes you return to Kamchatka again and again.
Everything that furrows the surface is of interest to the rainbow trout. The size of the fly, its direction and speed of movement through the water cannot be foreseen.
These can be mice, foam flies and all sorts of other options. I would like them to hold well on the surface, not get too wet, and not overload your tackle. Each time you need to take into account the nature of the place, the speed and direction of the current and movement of the fly. Sometimes dead drift works well, sometimes gurgling strips. Trout may attack several times, but may also lose interest in the fly. In such conditions, you can quickly navigate and choose a more effective fly and presentation.
On wide stretches, rocky rifts, we cannot completely control the situation. How many trouts are there, how many of them reacted to our fly - we cannot say. Looking at underwater video shots, there may be dozens of large fish, and only a few of them showed interest in the fly drifting on the surface. That is why it is necessary to find the correct way of presenting the fly, change it, apply a different variant of casting and movement of the fly, which will arouse the greatest interest in the trout. There cannot be one correct option, the conditions on the river are changeable, and the behavior of the trout is also changes.
The biomass of the river Icha makes for some of the heaviest trouts in Kamchatka, with some 20-25 inch rainbows here weighing an astonishing 8 pounds. These fish are the apex predators in their ecosystem, and they aren’t shy about attacking large streamers or mouse patterns twitching across the surface.
Once I caught my biggest rainbow in Kamchatka with a mouse pattern from the surface, I still have this place and that fish in my mind. When Kamchatka comes up to my mind, rainbow trout is no doubt the absolute winner of all fish out there.
For those that have fished in Alaska before, fly fishing Kamchatka has many similarities. Remote wilderness, fantastic scenery, adventure, wild life and lots of hungry trout are the norm !!
We can not wait to get back to what we love....
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